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Teachers’ Pension System Seeks Tech Services

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has released a request for offer seeking IT-related assistance as it implements a new pension administration system.

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The state teachers’ pension system wants to hear from companies that hold a current IT California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) agreement with the California Department of General Services and can provide technology services.

In a request for offer (RFO) published Sept. 22 on the California State Contracts Register, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) seeks Independent Verification and Validation services (IV&V) in accordance with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standards, to implement CalSTRS’ new pension administration system. This will include all interfaces, data preparation and conversion activities, plus any dependent systems or technologies. Among the takeaways:

  • CalSTRS is working on replacing its legacy pension administration system, START, the custom-built pension administration system that manages and administers the State Teachers’ Retirement Plan. Its functions include contribution reporting and collections, crediting service, member demographic information maintenance, service credit purchases, benefit application processing, benefit calculation and payroll. The system also provides extracted data to a data mart for actuarial purposes. CalSTRS has entered into a multiyear agreement with Sagitec to implement its Neospin product. Implementation of the Pension Solutions project is expected to wrap by 2025.
  • Services needed via the RFO include developing the IV&V work plan and doing all technical and managerial activities during the project life cycle to reach a successful outcome; and giving an objective assessment of all products, services and processes during project life cycle to ensure it follows industry best practices. The contractor selected will also need to facilitate early detection, documentation and correction of any errors; improve management insight into issues and risks before they grow into problems that could impede the initiative; and provide IV&V services on sub-projects and efforts on which the main project is dependent, such as data conversion, operational reports and transformation readiness.
  • CalSTRS envisions the contractor’s team to have key roles of technical manager, quality assurance analyst, test management analyst and data management analyst. Other roles would be engagement manager; additional required contractor roles, if necessary, would include a team of three or more consultants to collaborate with CalSTRS and other contractors/third-party resources on the project and associated sub-projects. Respondents must have a current IT CMAS agreement with DGS. Minimum technical qualifications for respondents include having been the prime IV&V contractor on at least one previous project within the last five years for a pension or financial organization of similar scope; having provided IV&V services for a single IT project with a total budget of at least $50 million and a duration of at least two years; and having done at least one project with a public-sector entity such as a local, state or federal agency.
  • CalSTRS will accept only one offer per vendor in response to this RFO. The RFO’s total estimated value isn’t stated but its total services period may be up to 24 months, with the option, likely by CalSTRS, to extend for up to an additional 24 months, at the deliverable/hourly rates negotiated at contract execution, whichever is applicable. The offer may be subject to negotiations with CalSTRS; the proposed project team selected as a result of the RFO will be under the direction of the CalSTRS chief operating officer or a designee. Questions are due by 2 p.m. Monday. Responses are due by 2 p.m. Oct. 10. Estimated work start date is in December.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.